Jerson White, better known by family and friends as “Boo Boo,” was on his way to check on his cousin’s 2-year-old son when he was shot and killed in an alley less than two weeks ago.
Chanita White said she cleaned his blood off her mother’s door.
“I couldn’t just leave him out there like that,” Chanita White said after a vigil at Byrd Park on Thursday. She had recently moved to Washington, and Jerson White often looked in on her son and mother while she was away.
“He wouldn’t leave me like that,” she said. “He was a good man. We need more men like him.”
The 37-year-old was shot around 10:17 p.m. May 26 in the alley between Parkwood and West Cary streets, behind the 2100 block of West Cary Street. White was taken to a hospital, where he died.
His family is left asking why.
“Boo was loved by everybody,” said his mother, Florence Leonard. “He was contagious.”
Leonard, as well as several others, spoke at the memorial about how White always stepped up when he was called upon and would always help out when asked.
“Even until the Sunday when this happened, he was doing that,” Leonard said. “When you take somebody’s life, you don’t just take his life, you take him from so many people.”
Dozens of friends and family attended the memorial to honor White, as well as some who didn’t know him at all.
“This road is not going to be easy,” Kristy Burrus, whose 21-year-old daughter, Krissia Henderson-Burrus, was killed in August, told Leonard. “There are people, such as myself, that will always, and I mean always, be here to support you. I don’t know you, but I love you. I don’t know the young gentleman who lost his life, but I love him. As I share about my daughter, I cannot bring her back, but I can make her live. And that is absolutely what I intend to do, make her live.
“If in the making, I got to make Boo Boo live, then it is that that I shall do.”
Burrus, who is part of the city’s ever-growing Homicide Support Group, encouraged those who knew Jerson White, or her daughter, to speak up, too, and call out for peace.
“I plead to you who are here on behalf of him, don’t be silent,” she said. “Let’s take back our streets.”
Police are looking for a person of interest in White’s death. The man was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and dark-colored shoes. A black SUV, possibly a Kia Sorento, was also seen leaving the scene.